Midsummer Scream: Attractions Revealed! Prepare to Be Wowed! - Dread Central
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Midsummer Scream: Attractions Revealed! Prepare to Be Wowed!

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Midsummer Scream

The events and attractions for this summer’s horror shindig known as Midsummer Scream have been revealed, and honestly speaking… There’s almost too much to do! Read on for the details surrounding this jam-packed spook-fest of insanity!

From the Press Release:
Attracting more than 8,000 fans for its debut last summer, Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival is set to return bigger and more terrifying to the Long Beach Convention Center on July 29 and 30. Drawing lovers of all things Halloween and horror to Southern California, Midsummer Scream delivers a stunning array of industry icons, more than 100,000 square feet of artisan vendors, live entertainment, specialty workshops, makeup demonstrations, short film screenings, haunted attraction previews, and an enormous dark zone known as the Hall of Shadows. Midsummer Scream is a joint production from the teams behind CreepyLA and Theme Park Adventure.

“We are thrilled to return to Long Beach this summer after such an exciting first year in 2016,” says David Markland, Midsummer Scream’s Executive Director. “Halloween and horror go hand-in-hand, and nowhere is the fan dedication to both more intense and heartfelt than right here in Southern California. Building on everything we learned from last year’s convention, our team has worked tirelessly over the past 12 months, preparing to take Midsummer Scream to a whole new level for this community. In just a few weeks, the Halloween season officially begins here on the West Coast; Long Beach has proven to be the perfect home for us, and we’re incredibly excited to lead the charge with the best fans in the world.”

One of the hallmarks of Midsummer Scream is its lineup of world-class panel presentations. This year, the Terrace Theater becomes the convention’s main stage, with a capacity to seat more than 3,000 fans at a time. The biggest tourist attractions on the West Coast are set to return to the main stage, unveiling their Halloween 2017 plans throughout the weekend, along with a stunning lineup of presentations that include:

Beyond the Fifth Dimension: Creating The Twilight Zone Tower of TerrorSure to thrill theme park fans, Midsummer Scream will welcome key members of the attraction’s design and development team who will discuss Tower’s inception for Walt Disney World, and each iteration that followed. Mark Silverman, renowned as the voice of Rod Serling in the attraction, will join the discussion, thrilling fans by reciting the famous soundtrack narration live on stage.

Submitted for Approval: Are You Afraid of the Dark?Midsummer Scream is taking it back to the ‘90s to discuss the Nickelodeon sensation that sparked the imagination – and nightmares – of kids everywhere. Co-Creator/Executive Producer D.J. MacHale will be joined by other Are You Afraid of the Dark? alumni on stage to discuss their work on the show and what fun it was keeping viewers cowering behind their blankets all night.

Master Creature Makers: From Dinosaurs to Fantasy WorldsHosted by Jeff Tucker of 91 Reasons podcast, this fascinating discussion will take a close look at some of the world’s best practical creature makers, and the challenges their companies face in an increasingly digital world. Jeff will be joined on stage by Erich Grey Litoff from the Stan Winston School of Character Arts, Emmy award-winning creature designer and filmmaker Kirk R. Thatcher, themed entertainment icon Garner Holt of Garner Holt Productions, and John Criswell of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

45 Years of Knott’s Scary FarmIndependent of the Scary Farm’s official main stage presentation, this is a special 90-minute look at the past 45 years of the Halloween event that started it all in 1973. Hosted by author/historian Ted Dougherty, this presentation will feature a rotating panel of individuals who were, and are today, responsible for creating what is considered the granddaddy of all theme park haunt events. Panelists include early Halloween Haunt legend John Waite, former Entertainment Design Manager at Knott’s Todd Faux, world-renowned magician and entertainer Ed Alonzo, current Knott’s Berry Farm Vice President of Entertainment Ken Parks, and current Knott’s Scary Farm Design Specialist Jon Cooke.

Midsummer Scream’s second stage will offer seating for up to 750 guests at a time, featuring its own blockbuster lineup of presentations that include:

Shock Waves Live!From your ear buds to the stage, Blumhouse.com’s hit horror podcast comes to Midsummer Scream for the first time. Hosts Rebekah McKendry, Robert Galluzzo, Ryan Turek, and Elric Kane will record an episode before a live audience, bringing with them an insightful and playful discussion about the world of horror films. Spend an hour with them, and maybe you’ll walk away with some great film recommendations!

Tales and Tribulations: The Delusion RetrospectiveInternationally-recognized as a pioneering phenomenon in horror theater, Delusion returns to Midsummer Scream with a 90-minute retrospective of its past 5 productions and a glimpse into the future as creator Jon Braver and Skybound Entertainment discuss their new collaboration, Delusion: Lies Within – VR.

Winchester Mystery House: “Explore More” of Hallowe’en and Other SurprisesThe Winchester Mystery House will host a 60-minute presentation on Sunday, July 30, featuring a look at never-before-opened areas of the mansion that are now featured on the new Explore More Tour, a sneak peek at the wildly-popular Hallowe’en Candlelight Tour – expanded for 2017, plus an exciting update on the upcoming Winchester motion picture, starring Helen Mirren. Doug Barnes of The Season Pass Podcast will lead the on-stage discussion with Walter Magnuson, General Manager of the Winchester Mystery House, and Tim O’Day, the company’s Director of Communications.

Stage & Scream: Immersive Horror TheaterNoah Nelson of No Proscenium is set to host this fascinating discussion amongst several very different performance group visionaries that each have their own approach and following in the exceptionally popular world of immersive horror theater on the West Coast and beyond. Joining Noah on stage are Jonathan Josephson of Unbound Productions/Wicked Lit, Zombie Joe of Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, Anna Mavromati of Shine On Collective, and Landon Zakheim, Co-Director of the Overlook Film Festival.

Into the Black: First LookFans will get their first look at one of Southern California’s most-anticipated new haunted attractions for 2017, Into the Black. Hosted by Shawn Marshall of Parks and Cons Podcast, Into the Black: First Look will screen the attraction’s backstory film, as well as a teaser for the haunt’s “making of” documentary which will debut after the end of this year’s Halloween season, followed by a discussion and Q&A with Larry Bones, Creator, Executive Producer, and Director of Into the Black; actress Claire Dunlap; actress Aubree Garman; and Ted Dougherty, the Director and Co-Writer of Into the Black’s VR film.

Ben Cooper Costumes: Past and FutureThis fascinating and nostalgic panel will focus on the history and future vision of Ben Cooper Costumes, founded in 1937. In the years to follow, the company would go on to produce Disney character-based Halloween costumes, as well as several from the Star Wars franchise. Moderator Rebekah McKendry from Blumhouse.com will be joined on stage by Shifra Cooper, Project Manager and Social Media Manager at Ben Cooper Costumes; Micheline Pitt, artist and designer; and Jon Miller, writer and Ben Cooper Costumes historian.

Theme Park Panel Presentations

One of the biggest draws to Midsummer Scream are major presentations by leading tourist attractions. During these blockbuster appearances, representatives of the greatest Halloween events in the world take to the main stage, connecting with their fans to discuss what each has in store for the Halloween season – from behind-the-scenes design details, to exciting announcements about new mazes and attractions. Joining Midsummer Scream 2017 are Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights, Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor, Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest, and Knott’s Scary Farm.

Fans should expect dramatic surprises, fast-breaking announcements, monsters, and more throughout the weekend in the Terrace Theater!

Unique Theatrical Experiences

Featured this year as part of Midsummer Scream’s robust live entertainment selection, guests will have access to two unique productions by Los Angeles-based theater companies Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, as well as Force of Nature Productions.

For those daring and curious – and 18 years of age or older – Zombie Joe’s will present a special Midsummer Scream 2017 version of its wildly-popular Urban Death show. Urban Death is a series of disturbing, frightening, graphically mature vignettes involving violence, death, and all things taboo; this adults-only production will leave guests laughing nervously, wincing, applauding, and wanting to see more Zombie Joe shows throughout the year.

Force of Nature will make its Midsummer Scream debut with Fallen Saints: Dia De Los Muertos, an immersive theatrical experience that will take guests deep into a cemetery late at night, where they witness the origin story of one of Mexico’s greatest folklore legends. This special engagement at Midsummer Scream is an exclusive “story bridge”, which will then continue this fall in Los Angeles during the group’s Halloween production.

Dark Harbor’s Sinister Circus at the Queen Mary

Once Midsummer Scream completes its activities for the evening at the Long Beach Convention Center on Saturday, July 29, the party continues just across the bay aboard one of the most haunted places in the world – the Queen Mary. Halloween fans don’t have to wait until October to mix and mingle with their favorite Dark Harbor characters; they’re going to populate the upper deck of the world-famous ocean liner all night long while Midsummer fans dance the night away – many in elaborate costumes, as Sinister Circus is also a costume ball featuring prizes and surprises! Tickets and hotel packages are now on sale for Dark Harbor’s Sinister Circus here!

Hall of Shadows

Hall of Shadows is a massive dark zone that occupies over one third of the convention’s 90,000 square-foot show floor, giving thousands of fans the opportunity to preview more than a dozen stand-alone home and professional haunt experiences each day. In addition to terrifying haunted attractions, the Hall of Shadows will feature an elaborate Sleepy Hollow-themed entry portal designed and built by CalHauntS, a talented group of haunters based in Los Angeles. Walking through the creepy cemetery, guests will encounter eerie special effects and theme park-quality props and scenery.

High-energy performances by the Decayed Brigade slider team will take place three times each day; “sliding” is a scare tactic created more than 40 years ago at Knott’s Scary Farm, where performers push their bodies and the laws of gravity to the limit, creating a heart-stopping fright.

Once inside the Hall of Shadows, guests will experience more than a dozen “mini haunts” – a sampling of home and professional haunted attractions that can be found across the Southland this coming Halloween season. Each haunt in the Hall of Shadows will have a General Admission line, and a Front of Line lane. All haunts within the Hall are included with paid admission to Midsummer Scream.

Celebrity Guests

Halloween and horror fans will be able to meet celebrity guests throughout the weekend, including Sid Haig (House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects), Cassandra Peterson (Elvira, Mistress of the Dark), actress/model LeeAnna Vamp; Kane Hodder (“Jason Voorhees” from four Friday the 13th films), and more!

Screaming Room Presented by HorrorBuzz.com

Presented by HorrorBuzz.com, this screening room will feature a full two days of programming that includes short film submissions, Etheria Film Night selections, various haunted attraction flow-through videos by Theme Park Adventure, Trick R Treat select clips with recorded commentary by Michael Dougherty for Midsummer Scream, and BuzzFeed Unsolved hosted by Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej.

Family-Friendly Fun

Midsummer Scream recognizes that Halloween is a holiday that is enjoyed by people of all ages, including small children. The show floor will feature a large children’s area, complete with arts and crafts, friendly monster meet-and-greets, and the whimsical fun of Buster Balloon, entertainer and master balloon artist.

Former producers of ScareLA, Midsummer Scream creators are David Markland, Executive Director; Gary Baker, Executive Producer; Rick West, Creative Director; Johanna Atilano, Producer; and Claire Dunlap, Supervising Producer.

About Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival

Midsummer Scream is a large-scale summer festival celebrating the spirit of Halloween and horror, drawing thousands of guests to Southern California for a weekend of thrills and chills. Featuring a massive show floor of vendors and exhibitors, haunted attractions and experiences, live entertainment and world-class panel presentations, Midsummer Scream is the West Coast’s premier Halloween/horror event, offering something for fans of all ages.

For more information regarding dates and times for panels and events, and to purchase tickets, log on to MidsummerScream.org. Fans may sign up on the site for email notifications and announcements, including discounts and other special offers. Follow Midsummer Scream on social media – Twitter/Periscope: @MidsummerScream, Instagram: @MidsummerScream, and Facebook.

Midsummer Scream

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Interview: Publishing Director Tom Walker on the Love Folio Society Gives to Horror Novels

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Horror fans are quite often collectors. Whether its posters, Blu-rays and/or DVDs, figures, memorabilia, or something else, we’ve always been archivists of the genre in some way, shape, or form. For many, the love of horror extends off the screen and into the pages of a book, where the writings of King, Lovecraft, Koontz, Shelley, and Stoker raise the hairs on the back of our neck and make us afraid to turn to the next page for fear of what our imagination will conjure.

Much like the difference between a bargain bin Blu-ray pales in comparison to a Scream Factory or Arrow Video treatment, the world of books has a similar situation. One can get a generic paperback edition of a book and enjoy a story for all that it has to offer and no one can, or should, fault them for appreciating it in that method. But I think we all know the feeling when we get our hands on a product where love and care exudes from every portion of what we hold. Just think back to that feeling when you got your first Blu-ray with a loving HD restoration, a robust special features section, and gorgeous artwork that made your eyes linger. When it comes to books, that kind of treatment is offered with everyone of Folio Society‘s releases.

Founded in 1947, the London-based publisher aims to release editions that should be “…presented in a form worthy of their contents.” Painstakingly crafted, each book that they release takes months, if not years, for a final product to be agreed upon where every aspect is considered to the nth degree. As they themselves explain, “…each book is considered as an individual object of value in its own right, there is a variety to our aesthetic – the only uniformity is in the quality of every single book.”

While Folio Society does not focus solely on genre fare, they have released many classic titles from that world, including the recent edition of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, which featured brand new artwork by frequent Neil Gaiman collaborator Dave McKean. To celebrate those who put enormous amounts of effort into celebrating and cherishing the genre we so dearly appreciate and love, I had the chance to interview Folio Society’s Publishing Director Tom Walker about the company, specific titles they’ve released, and what’s coming next. Please enjoy!


Dread Central: The Folio Society has been creating beautiful editions for over 70 years. Can you tell me a bit about how you not only honour the legacy of the books you have in your catalogue but also the legacy of The Folio Society itself?

Tom Walker: I often feel overwhelmed walking through our library at the scale of what we have produced since 1947 – I know how much energy it takes to get one book right, so to do it with thousands, the library is an extraordinary feat. The thing that surprises me most though is how little we have changed since then. Our goal is fundamentally the same – to bring classic books to new audiences by producing them in a spectacular and lasting form. It’s a thrilling and a noble ideal really, so it feels an honour to be part of a publisher which has such a living tradition running through it.

DC: What do you look for in a book to find it worthy of The Folio Society treatment?

TW: That is a never-ending question, and one we constantly debate within our publishing team. Beyond the perhaps obvious considerations of the book having a stature to carry a fine edition, I look for books that are the best within their genre and will lend themselves well to an illustrated edition. Definitions of ‘classic’ works are slippery, but I like to think that Folio plays its part in helping to canonise certain books and authors, and to ensure they are read and re-read down the generations. The most important consideration for me is always that someone within Folio must love the book – it takes a certain level of obsession to create books like ours.

DC: Clearly an enormous amount of love and care goes into every book that you release. From the paper to the binding, the lettering to the new forewords, the slipcases and the printing… It all combines into something that is as much a work of art as the story the book itself contains. How does this process work for each novel?

TW: Well there are certain elements which are consistent but fundamentally we treat each book uniquely and with the respect it deserves, so when we decide to publish something we’ll think long and hard about how it could best be published, and over the course of it production we will consider every tiny detail. The editor and the art directors will likely have a vision of the final book quite early on, but it will always change through various stages of creative intervention – from the typographer, from the commissioned artist, from the author or introducer. We’re trying to match the form with the content and often that can involve restraint as much as it can involve a lavish design. So long as the aesthetics match those of the book and interplay in interesting ways, we have done our job well. We’re hugely fortunate to have an in-house team which loves creative collaboration and makes such a process possible.

DC: The Folio Society doesn’t discriminate by genre, offering anything from comedy to tragedy with everything in between. For horror fans, that means a great deal as the genre often gets looked down upon. What responsibility do you feel The Folio Society has in showcasing the validity and importance of all styles of writing?

TW: Often the very best writing is to be found in non-traditional genres, as I’m sure your readers will have noticed. Writers – particularly those with something genuinely new to say – don’t always like being confined to the expectations of a conventional genre. Horror, science fiction and other genres have undoubtedly been a refuge for some of the finest writers over the years. Folio is also in a unique position for a publisher in being able to showcase a wide range of genres – most publishers will tend to specialise in certain areas where we range quite freely. A lot of our readers will buy whole libraries from us, and no good private library will ever contain one genre. It’s thrilling too to be able to introduce readers to new authors they wouldn’t otherwise have considered except through us.

DC: Getting into specific titles, what can you tell me about the creation of your release of The Call of Cthulhu & Other Weird Stories? Was there anything that stands out about that particular release?

TW: That was an unusual project in a number of ways, not least because we produced two editions at the same time – a limited edition alongside our collector’s edition – and I must say the collector’s edition is in itself quite an extraordinary thing. Two elements stand out most for me with this edition. The first is the introduction by Alan Moore. It’s one of the finest I’ve commissioned in a decade of working at Folio, and makes the case for Lovecraft in a hugely compelling fashion. Secondly the vision at work here is very much that of the artist, Dan Hillier, who was involved in every level, from the artwork to the slipcase and solander-box box design to the decision to blacken the foredges of the book. It’s one of those projects where everything came together in a serendipitous and very fun way, and I think it stands up to Lovecraft’s extraordinary tales.

DC: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist is obviously a huge title for horror fans across generations. How do you go about honoring such a title?

TW: When we decided to publish this novel –an easy decision! – we were looking at artists to commission and came across the Lonely Road edition which had been illustrated by Caniglia. We knew of his work already and were so impressed by it that we asked Lonely Road if they would allow us to re-use it for our edition. They were graciousness itself, and through working with Caniglia we were able to include some material from him unique to our edition and what we ultimately produced is, I think, quite stunning.

DC: You have a glorious edition of The Shining from Stephen King. Will we see any more offerings from The Folio Society for King’s work?

TW: I do hope so. Watch this space!

DC: It seemed over the past several years that physical media was going to slowly disappear as electronic options became more and more popular. However, we’re seeing a resurgence of love for being able to have something tangible. What is your stance on physical versus digital, especially in your field where Kindles and Nooks and tablets are obviously very convenient?

TW: I’ve always felt that the rise of digital media has been Folio’s greatest opportunity. We all read so much online and on tablets but the pull of the physical isn’t going away, and I think Folio is part of a resurgence in crafted and thought-through objects – and writing – which people appreciate all the more as so much of our media is so ephemeral.

DC: What is coming up that you’re excited for at The Folio Society?

TW: It takes somewhere between eighteen months and three years to create a Folio Society edition, and I am always most excited about the books we have in the programme that far ahead. But I can’t tell you about any of them! A couple which have just been released I’m particularly proud of are Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, and Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf – both amazing novels, and both now in Folio formats which are utterly addictive.

DC: To end things, I’d love to know what is your dream book that you would love to be able to bring into The Folio Society’s catalogue?

TW: My dream book is always the next book I add to the catalogue, so luckily for me I don’t have to choose – you do!

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Bob & Mews Return in STRANGER THINGS 3 Promo

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One of the best surprises held within this past season’s Stranger Things 2 was Sean Astin as Bob. Another great addition was Dustin’s kitty Mews. But alas these two things were not meant to be.

And so it is utterly delightful to see them together for the first time in this new promo trailer for the upcoming Stranger Things 3.

You can check out the promo below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

The show stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Natalia Dyer, and Charlie Heaton.

Synopsis:

A love letter to the supernatural classics of the 80’s, Stranger Things is the story of a young boy who vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces, and one very strange little girl.

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Which Classic Movie Would Rob Zombie Like to Remake?

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This past year, Rob Zombie hosted HDNet’s 13 Nights of Halloween. During the gig, he was asked a series of fan questions in a fun video, which you can check out in its entirety below. One of the fun questions was “Which horror movie would you like to remake?” And Zombie’s reply was very interesting.

One thing I always thought was possible was to remake The Creature from the Black Lagoon,” Zombie said. “Because the creature itself, in that phenomenal suit they constructed, could be exactly the same. So I think Creature from the Black Lagoon could be a cool one.”

How would you feel about a Rob Zombie directed remake of Creature from the Black Lagoon? Make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

Synopsis:

Remnants of a mysterious animal have come to light in a remote jungle, and a group of scientists intends to determine if the find is an anomaly or evidence of an undiscovered beast. To accomplish their goal, the scientists (Antonio Moreno, Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Whit Bissell) must brave the most perilous pieces of land South America has to offer. But the terrain is nothing compared to the danger posed by an otherworldly being that endangers their work and their lives.

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